In May of 2011, a week after my daughter’s wedding, I had a routine colonoscopy and I learned I had stage III colon cancer. I have always exercised regularly and lived a healthy lifestyle and was shocked when I heard the news. I love life and wanted to enjoy grandchildren someday so the fight was on!
I had landed a job at Cancer Treatment Center of America about a year before my diagnosis. God knew I was going to get cancer and he knew right where I needed to work! We have what is called “The Mother Standard of Care” here at CTCA and I was blessed to be on the receiving end of that care. It made such a huge difference in my journey! I was loved on and encouraged daily. My husband at the time had Multiple Sclerosis and on disability so not working was not an option during my treatment. I hadn’t worked at CTCA very long before my diagnosis so I hadn’t accrued very much sick/vacation time. After I was off for my surgery and I was out of time off I went back to work. I prayed to God to please help me get through 12 rounds of chemo with two hours of sick time left and He did! It was all I could do to get through my work day and then I would come home and crash.
I am a better person because of my cancer. It puts life in a whole new perspective. Most people my age complain on their birthdays about turning another year older. . . but I rejoice! I am thankful to be here to enjoy what life has to offer. Every day is a gift! I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore and I used to take a lot of things for granted. One thing I used to take for granted was being able to exercise . . .until I couldn’t. I had a lot of bone pain to work through for about two years after my chemo. I wanted to give back for getting a second chance at life so after finishing my chemo I volunteered to help with the Colon Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear in Gear run. I could only walk the first year but have served on the planning committee every year since and this April 2nd, we are hosting our 4th Get Your Rear in Gear run here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am thankful I am able to run again and enjoy my grandchildren. . .after all. . .that was my motivation for chemo. . .to enjoy grandchildren some day! And I do! Everything we go through is for God’s glory and I praise him for all he has done in my cancer journey!Return to Faces of Blue